Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Why the Australian government’s desperate frenzy to set up a nuclear waste dump on agricultural land? – theme for August 18

With breathtaking hypocrisy, the Australian government, fronted by its not terribly bright Resources Minister Matt Canavan, is pouring $$$ and huge effort, into conning a small rural community into hosting a nuclear waste dump.

This is of course, a world-wide problem, wherever the nuclear industry exists. However, Australians, especially country Australians, are especially poorly informed on matters nuclear.

The government has taken advantage of that fact, and brainwashed the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker into the belief that they’d be doing  a noble thing by their children, grandchildren and beyond, and of course –  saving Australia’s health system at the same time.

This nonsense is persuasive –  particularly so in this time of drought, when the prospect of tax-payer $millions, is dangled in front of the community.  especially nice for those “noble” souls, like pro-nuclear ex-politician Grant Chapman who offered their land.

Of course the Aboriginal people, custodians of this land for 40,000 years, don’t want the dump. But apparently Australia doesn’t really care about them, and the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides Aboriginal Heritage legislation.

The Senate received 112 submissions about this. The majority opposed the plan. We await the Senate’s report on 14 August.  The local communities will be voting on this on 20 August.  Then what?

And what goes on behind the scenes, with lobbying by the nuclear industry and the military?

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August 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

Exposing the lies about planned Kimba or Hawker nuclear waste dump – theme for August 18

Kimba and Hawker are being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

July 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The Australian Government’s frenzied plan for a nuclear “sacrifice zone” in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia- theme for July 18

Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that on 20 August, there will be  a ballot to gauge community support for a nuclear waste dump near one of the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide. The vote will be confined to the residents in the immediate local area.

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year” said Canavan ““We do not want this overlapping with a federal election”.

Indeed they don’t!  Heck! This nuclear garbage dump idea is a National matter. But Canavan, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ANSTO, ARPANSA, and the rest of the nuclear lobby, are pitching it ONLY to the small farming communities of Kimba and Hawker, and resolutely keeping the rest of us in blissful ignorance.

Trekking Lucas Heights’ highly radioactive nuclear reactor wastes for 1700 km across Australia – to become a “temporary , i.e. stranded waste dump, is a dangerous idea. And unnecessary – Lucas Heights has the necessary space, technology, and expertise.

Nuclear medicine itself,  short-lived hospital radioactive wastes, do not need this. Hypocritically, the government  tells the Kimba and Hawker people that it’s a “medical necessity”  they’ll be Australia’s heroes. AT WHAT PRICE – now and for future generations?

A Senate Inquiry will report on this on 14 August. Too late to make a difference.  Read many brilliant submissions to this Inquiry, posted on this website. Summaries of these, with links to full submissions are at SUBMISSIONS TO SENATE INQUIRY 18.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nuclear politics – theme for June 2018

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimate the “Doomsday Clock” at two minutes to midnight–  meaning that the chances of a catastrophic nuclear war are very high:   Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions. Across the globe, nuclear weapons are poised to become more rather than less usable because of nations’ investments in their nuclear arsenals.

For whatever reason –   because  national political leaders tend to be sociopaths, or because they’re beholden to the nuclear and weapons industries, and to the military – they are in the main, focused on distrust, hostility, and confrontation with each other.

USA, formerly the most influential world power, is now stuck with an incompetent negotiator, and a dangerous narcissist, in Donald Trump. The North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is consequently looking more reasonable, by comparison. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and China’s Xi Jinping are watching as the Korean Peninsula crisis unfolds. South Korean leader Moon Jae-in continues to try desperately for a peaceful solution.

Meanwhile, animosities continue between India’s President Modi  and Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain.

Iran and Europe try to hang on to the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  Middle East conflicts involve “proxy wars” between not only USA and Russia, but also Iran versus Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Israel has nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates almost certainly aim to get nuclear. weapons.

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All this is joy to the global nuclear power industry, which is now publicly recognised as an essential part of nuclear weapons development, as well as delight for the military top brass, and for the nuclear weapons industry, – both now receiving out of control amounts of tax-payer  money

June 9, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear politics Australia – theme for June 2018

It would appear that none of Australia’s politicians are aware of the nuclear machinations going on in this country.

Dr Adi Paterson, pontiff of Australia’s holy ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation), was able to sign Australia up to the international club for developing new nuclear reactors, all by himself . The government obligingly rubber-stamped that weeks later, with no Parliamentary discussion.  That was in 2017.

In 2018, Labor and Liberal are studiously ignoring  the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and ANSTO’s attempt to foist a nuclear waste dump on a small rural community in South Australia.

One South Australian politician had the gumption to call for a Senate Inquiry into this. This Inquiry will report on 14 August. But the government will state its decision on 20 August.

Meanwhile – a deadly silence falls over this issue, as far as Australia’s Coalition and Labor MPs are concerned. Of course, the Australian media, as always, also keeps obligingly silent.

A few politicians slightly aware of international nuclear politics. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop expressed Australia’s support for the Iran nuclear agreement. We wait to learn if PM Malcolm Turnbull will cave in to pressure from Donald Trump to join USA efforts against Iran.

For me – the most ungracious act of Malcolm Turnbull’s Prime Minister-ship was the way that he snubbed the Nobel Prize-winning The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

ANSTO is lying to South Australians: nuclear medicine does NOT need a nuclear waste dump in Flinders Ranges

As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”   Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”  Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

“If the plan for a [South Australian] dump is defeated, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.” – Dr Jim Green

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

“Nuclear Medicine” – the fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry – theme for May 2018

Small rural communities in South Australia are being told that it’s their patriotic duty to save Australia’s nuclear medicine –  by allowing a nuclear waste dump in their area.

This is the patently lying propaganda of the Australian Government ‘s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science  now busily involve spending tax-payers’ money on pro nuclear spin.

The real purpose of the radioactive trash dump is to host nuclear waste – euphemistically called “intermediate level” waste – currently stored in of 9,8000 leaking rusty barrels  at Woomera, and also the wastes produced by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. These also so-called “intermediate ” wastes are the reprocessed wastes returned from France, with more to come in the future.

The Australian nation is being conned by the government and its well-funded nuclear promotion organisation Australian National Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), with the furphy that the whole purpose of the reactor is medical.

(a) the “medical isotope” function was tacked on  – the original purpose was to lead to nuclear weapons. The current purpose is just a foot in the door for the whole nuclear fuel chain.

(b) Nuclear reactors are now going out of fashion, as the cheaper, more flexible, local, cyclotrons can produce medical isotopes safely – with no radioactive waste created.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientists have lower awareness of risks, compared to “life”scientists

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00743.x

April 25, 2018 Posted by | art and culture, Christina themes, safety | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry and science myths- theme for April 18

The nuclear lobby is more of a religious cult than a science body. It relies a lot on the prevailing myth about “hard” science being somehow better than “soft science”.  The nuclear doctrine is that if you’re not an expert in the “hard”sciences, then you cannot have a valid opinion.

There were no biologists, geneticists, ecologists involved in the origin of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. It seems the same today, even though the most zealous nuclear lobbyists proclaim themselves as “environmentalists”. But their propaganda gives them away – shows their ignorance of those complex, nuanced sciences that are downgraded in the present global drive for unbridled technology development.

One hardly dares mention studies like sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies … even economics – these are dismissed, too, as “soft” .

But all these downgraded subjects are the ones we should be addressing, if the world is to be saved from the twin horrors of nuclear devastation and climate change.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Science in Australia: nuclear gets the funding, not climate, environment, health – theme for April 18

It’s more like a religious cult than a science.  Nuclear technology in Australia is shrouded in silence. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) rules the show, with The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) as its faithful servant.  ARPANSA is there to protect the nuclear industry, not us.

Recently, Dr Adi Paterson, of ANSTO, signed Australia up to join in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors – and then the government rubber-stamped that decision – a month later! No Parliamentary debate, no public information – nothing!

Now the Australian government is having another go at imposing  a nuclear waste dump on a remote South Australian area, disregarding Aboriginal heritage lands close by.

We are told that “Experts know that the waste dump will be safe, no environmental problems, no water problems” blah blah.

Of course, in nuclear discussions, the experts are always the “hard” scientists – nuclear physicists, technologists etc. And they get the money. High time that ANSTO’s funding and spending were exposed. 

Because now – we downgrade the soppy soft scientists – environmentalists, ecologists, geneticists, biologists, anthropologists ….

We’re in the era of STEM – Science Technology Engineering Maths .  Don’t get me wrong – these studies are valuable, important. But they’re not everything.  Time that the balance was redressed, and those more complex, nuanced environmental and biological studies were promoted, and their experts given  a say on matters nuclear.

Of course, Ben Heard and his ilk will pretend vigourously that they are “environmental experts”, but that’s a sham, used to win converts to the nuclear religion.

 

March 28, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Which South Australian parties have the guts to say NO to the Federal nuclear waste dump plan? – theme for March 18

Is there some reason why the greedy nuclear lobby, the secretive agency ANSTO, and the weak Australian government all seem to think that it’s OK to transport nuclear reactor trash for thousands of km across the land, and dump it on agricultural land in South Australia?

Is it because they’ve decided that South Australia is already radioactively trashed, because the Australian government allowed the British to test 12 major nuclear weapons and hundreds of “minor” ones on Maralinga, S.A.?

It is some sort of weird payback because this State never had convicts dumped on them – so the dominant Eastern States want to put the South Australians in their place?

South Australia is  a beautiful place. It has never generated nuclear trash. Let the nuclear trash be kept, (as international conventions and best  practice dictate) near to the point of production – AT LUCAS HEIGHTS in Sydney. And then let Australia come to its senses and stop making the foul stuff.

This is NOT  a “Kimba” issue, not just a regional issue, – it’s certainly a STATE issue, and a NATIONAL issue.

Aware citizens in Australia are waiting to see if the South Australian Labor Party, Liberal Party, SA Best Party have the guts to join the Greens in saying NO to the Federal nuclear waste dump plan.

 

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia election – nuclear garbage dump IS an election issue – theme for March 18

Where are South Australia’s political leaders on this? Hiding?  –   with the exception of The Greens, sweeping the nuclear waste issue under the carpet!

South Australia – uniquely beautiful, and with a proud history. – IT MUST NOT BECOME A NATIONAL NUCLEAR GARBAGE DUMP

Yet this is the Federal Government’s plan –  to transport Lucas Heights so-called “Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes” for thousands of kilometres across this great continent, – past cities, villages, rivers , bridges – to be placed on agricultural land, near Aboriginal historic sites. And to be placed so-called “temporarily”, to become STRANDED WASTES. There is no plan for eventual deep permanent disposal.

The Federal government calls this “medical” wastes. Yet the vast bulk of medical radioisotopes have short half lives –   a few hours to a few days. So much more sensible to store those wastes close to the point of use.

The Australian government agreed in the 1950s to the principle that nuclear wastes should be stored close to where they are produced.  (NOT 2000km away!)

And – they’re telling us that this  is not a National issue, not a State issue, not even a Regional issue.

Heck – the decision is just up to a few greedy white Australians to offer to host the dump – and to ANSTO to bribe a few locals, and to the local Aboriginal community to be riven with anxiety over this

 

February 28, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Macho Madness – nuclear power nuclear weapons – theme for February 2018

The “Me Too” movement exposed the sexual exploitation of women at work, and the men in authority who make the decisions to cover this up.

Men in authority have forever been making decisions to cover up the exploitation of women, children and men in every arena of society. But in no arena more than in violence and war.

Without “Me Too” in decisions on nuclear power and nuclear war – we are all finished.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australian women – no say in nuclear decisions. Time for “ME TOO in NUCLEAR” – theme for February 18

Historically, women have been excluded from Australia’s nuclear discussions and decision-making.

Today they still are. (but the “cool trendy” new nukes lobby is bending over backwards in the pretense that women are involved, and are part of the toxic nuclear industry machine)

Oh dear – I did forget quite a few. For example:  

Now that Brewarrina Council in NSW is encouraging land-owners to nominate for hosting nuclear wastes, the council has engaged Robert Parker as their ‘consultant’ spin doctor! No facts, just spin.

 

January 31, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, women | Leave a comment

Net Neutrality, the Open Internet, and Nuclear Information – theme for January 2018

Before the Internet, information to the public was very much controlled by the established media – print, radio, television. With the world wide web came the opportunity for just about anyone to set up a site, just like this one, and to provide information on any generalist or specialised subject. (Of course, there are disadvantages – e.g. the new sites could lack the fact checking rigour expected of professional journalism).

From the point of view of examining nuclear issues, the Internet provided a timely opportunity to bypass the propaganda that is fed to the public via the mainstream media.  That has become more important now, as investigative journalists lose their jobs in the shaky world of commercial media.  The secretive nuclear industry has been having  a field day, or a field few decades, in handing out propaganda to mainstream journalists, who most often swallow it uncritically.

It was only  a matter of time before corporations worked to gain the same kind of control over the Internet, as they used to have over the media in pre-Internet days.

It’s in this context, that, on December 15th, the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission voted to end the 2015 Open Internet Order which protects net neutrality in the United StatesNet neutrality requires all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally, without blocking, “throttling” or censoring services or websites.

There is opposition in Congress to this move. So – it’s early days, to find out what effect it will have.

Still, I think that this is the first clear salvo in what could become a corporate war against independent media. A second salvo just arrived – as Glenn Greenwald reported on Facebook now obeying USA government, in censoring Palestinians’ posts.

The nuclear lobby would love that. They have the money, the corporate and government connections, to make a renewed campaign to stifle the truth about nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the real state of affairs in Fukushima, as the 2020 Olympic Games approach.

 

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment